Posts tagged ‘Legislature’

November 7th, 2016

State Legislative Endorsements

by Christopher O'Brien
Live in Connecticut?
Given the tax increases we have had already, and the ones still being proposed, you should think twice about voting for a Democratic legislator.
Let’s recap. Frankly, it started before Malloy when an overwhelming Democratic legislature decided to double our fees at the DMV. Then Malloy – after pledging not to raise taxes, instituted the largest and second largest income-tax increases in state history. The gas tax is still one of the highest in the country, and gee… can you find a job?
We all know friends and neighbors who have left. The rest of us are thinking about it too.
But wait… there’s even more taxes to come. Malloy and Democrats are considering a mileage tax! This would require the state – your Big Brother – to install a GPS device that tracks how far you drive. This may be only one step removed from tracking WHERE you drive. And there are other things that may be taxed as well. At the same time, Legislative Democrats are cutting funding to hospitals, disabled, and the poor, while giving money to Sikorsky just for sticking around, a special deal with Pratt and Whitney and ESPN just to stay here, and paying other businesses to move from one city to another. But even more businesses – from large General Electric moving from Fairfield to Boston, to smaller businesses, and even small businesses going out of business altogether.
On the Public Safety front, Connecticut is becoming a more dangerous place overall. Gov. Malloy and legislative Democrats approved an early release program for criminals who did not finish their sentences, or rehabilitative efforts. By our count, these releases have resulted in at least 3 murders and a rape of a child. Feel-good laws have been passed on gun control and human trafficking, but nothing practical which would prevent actual criminals to be stopped in their tracks, or sexual abuse victims to be assisted until after their perpetrators make their own mistakes to be arrested.
We spent nearly $1 billion on a busway from New Britain to Hartford while freight and railways continue to crumble. Parks are almost not opened at all during the summer, and while Democratic legislators claim to not have raised taxes this past year, they did cut disbursements to local towns- forcing towns to raise THEIR taxes instead.
This shell game has to end.
Thankfully, Wolcott has been well represented by two of the most fiscally conservative legislators in the State. Rob Sampson and Joe Markley not only have called out the unjustices in Hartford, they both have independently broken from their “go along to get-along” Republican Party members at times when it counted too.
We proudly endorse Markley and Sampson to another term – and look forward to more like- minded Republicans to join them in Hartford. Hopefully a critical mass will be elected on Tuesday that includes moderate Democrats that know how to get Connecticut back on track.
June 25th, 2013

Legislators Hold Town Hall Meeting Tonight

by Christopher O'Brien

Sen. Markley and Rep. Sampson will be hosting a Town Hall Meeting in the lower level of Wolcott’s library tonight at 6 pm. Anyone is welcome to attend.

The legislators will be highlighting the bills that passed the General Assembly during this year’s session. The session which includes a two year state budget, ended on June 6th. Gov. Malloy has or is expected to sign most of the legislation into law. The legislators invite the public to give their feedback as well. No RSVP is required.

April 26th, 2013

Markley: Democratics Requesting More Than Malloy

by Christopher O'Brien

By Joe Markley

Back in February, the Governor claimed his budget reduced spending by $1.8 billion. In fact, his proposed budget actually increased state spending by nearly 10% over two years.  All he did was trim the rate of government growth; he made no actual reduction in spending.  In fact, the state will spend an additional $2.9 billion over the next two years under the governor’s proposal.

 

Now the Appropriations Committee has made a bad budget worse, spending approximately $55 million more than the Governor requested.

 

It bears repeating: we need to get our fiscal house in order. The Appropriations proposed budget not only increases spending but is also imbalanced. The majority party wants to redefine the budget cap, which is the height of hypocrisy. The spending cap has been changed repeatedly since it was put into place over twenty years ago, in the aftermath of passage of the state income tax.  In every case, spending has been removed from the cap—it’s a one-way deal, designed to thwart the clear will of the taxpayers.

 

While the Appropriations Committee was making its budget recommendations,

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April 24th, 2013

Foley Still Seeks Ethics Overhaul

by Christopher O'Brien
Tom Foley with Sen. Joe Markley

Tom Foley with Sen. Joe Markley

By Hugh McQuaidPresumptive Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley doubled down Tuesday on an ethics bill the Government Administration and Ethics Committee let die earlier this month after it was comdemned by lawmakers of both parties.

Foley and Sen. Joseph Markley, R-Southington, held an afternoon press conference in the Legislative Office Building, to reiterate the need for legislation to curb conflicts of interest in state government.

 

Foley, who lost a close election to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy in 2010 and has been positioning for another run next year, testified before the legislature’s open government committee in March in support of a bill prohibiting lawmakers or a members of their immediate family from being paid more than $1,000 from an employer that benefits from state funding.

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February 5th, 2013

Facing Deficit, Malloy Set to Increase Spending

by Christopher O'Brien
Hugh McQuaid, photo

Hugh McQuaid, photo

Based on current spending the state is expected to have a built-in $2.2 billion budget deficit over the next two years, but Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said Friday that the budget he will present to the General Assembly on Wednesday will include a spending increase.

“Yeah. That would be correct,” Malloy said in answer to a question about whether the new budget will increase spending.

“But we are going to present a balanced budget with no tax increases,” Malloy insisted. “And we are going to support programs that are most likely to produce a growing economy in the future.”

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February 5th, 2013

Town Hall Meeting With Legislators Thursday

by Christopher O'Brien
Rep. Rob Sampson

Rep. Rob Sampson

By Chris O’Brien – Wolcott Whisper State Representative Rob Sampson and State Senator Joe Markley will be holding a Town Hall forum Thursday evening from 6:30-7:30. The meeting is being held one month into this year’s legislative session and one day after Governor Malloy is expected to give his proposal to a two year state budget on Wednesday.Sampson has introduced 30 bills for this legislative session. Many of these deal with criminal penalties for using a gun in certain crimes. He has also tackled many fiscal issues, calling for a state spending cap, ensuring tax refunds can be given with checks instead of debit cards, and repealing the state’s real estate conveyance tax.

Sen. Joe Markley

Sen. Joe Markley

Last year, Gov. Malloy enacted the largest tax increase in state history. Yet, while the tax increase was passed in April, the tax was applied retroactively to January 1st, creating some Cosntitutional problems. Sen. Markley investigated whether or not this practice was legal, and foudn out that it was. Both legislators have introduced a proposal that would prohibit the practice in the future.

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January 28th, 2013

Feds Looking into Misallocation of State Bond Money; Legislature Under Investigation

by Christopher O'Brien

By Kevin Rennie

A federal investigation of corruption at the state legislature had bureaucrats scrambling last fall to obtain legal representation for the Legislative Commissioner’s Office (LCO) and, weeks later, the Executive Director of the Office of Legislative Management (OLM) after Attorney General George Jepsen “declined to represent” the legislative offices, Daily Ructions has learned. LCO, which strained to keep the matter secret, settled on the Hartford firm of O’Brien, Tanski & Young, asking that competitive bidding provisions be waived, “after receiving a list of firms whom [Jepsen’s office] would recommend to provide the requested services.”

Documents obtained by Daily Ructions reveal that those bureaucrats have gone to extraordinary lengths to keep information from taxpayers about the actions they are taking to protect the interests of their agencies and themselves at significant public expense. In emails, they discuss ways of wording  their communications in such a general way as to provide no useful information that would inform a member of the tax paying public who might seek access to their emails or letters through the Freedom of Information Act.

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January 25th, 2013

Is School Safety A Cop in Every School?

by Christopher O'Brien

By Hugh McQuaid | CT NewsJunkie

Putting an armed police officer in every school has been a common suggestion to make schools safer in the wake of the Newtown shooting. But South Windsor Police Chief Matt Reed told lawmakers Friday that school security was not the objective of the school resource officer program.

Reed, the legislative liaison for the Connecticut Police Chief’s Association, spoke at a legislative hearing held by a committee looking to make recommendations on school security to address the shooting.

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January 7th, 2013

Sampson Votes Against State Budget Mitigation Plan

by Christopher O'Brien

By Rep. Rob Sampson

Rep. Rob Sampson

Rep. Rob Sampson

First things first, Happy New Year!  I’m writing this month’s column on New Year’s Eve and it has me thinking about some of the important events of 2012 and also looking forward to how we can make 2013 a better year.  Without a doubt, the biggest issue that has been on everyone’s mind for not only 2012 but for the past few years is the poor state of our economy, both as a country and also right here in Connecticut.

Just before Christmas, the State Legislature was called back into special session ostensibly to clean up our previous budget mess and to vote on a deficit migration plan put forward by the Governor to plug a $415 million budget deficit created by his 2011 tax plan.   The Governor met with legislative leaders to craft a compromise and come up with a solution to the deficit.

Unfortunately, the final product was something I could not support.

I do want to make it clear that there are many well intentioned people that did vote in favor of that plan.  The problem is

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December 19th, 2012

‘Tentative’ Budget Deal Brokered

by Christopher O'Brien

By Christine Stuart | CT News Junkie

Speaker Chris Donovan | Photo: Christine Stuart

Outgoing Speaker of the House Chris Donovan said Monday that they’ve reach a tentative bipartisan agreement that will close this year’s $365 million budget deficit. “We got all four caucuses to come to agreement,” Donovan said Monday in the hall of the Capitol. “People were serious and wanted to get the job done.” Democratic and Republican lawmakers worked…

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